Shea makes career-high 15 tackles in MASCAC setback
DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Senior Matt Shea (Atkinson, N.H.) made a career-high 15 tackles, but the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth topped Plymouth State University, 21-14, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) football game at Cressy Field on Saturday afternoon.
In a battled of unbeaten teams, Shea's punt block set up the Panthers for a first-and-goal at the Corsair's one-yard line with just under 11 minutes remaining, but the UMass Dartmouth defense stuffed PSU on four straight running plays to preserve the 21-14 lead and the hosts were able to run out the clock with a time-consuming drive to end it.
Plymouth State drops to 3-1 (1-1 MASCAC), while the Corsairs improve to 4-0 and 2-0 in conference play.
Plymouth State 14, UMass Dartmouth 21
Plymouth State (3-1, 1-1 MASCAC)
UMass Dartmouth (4-0, 2-0 MASCAC)
How it Happened.
- The Corsairs took advantage of a short field and grabbed a 7-0 lead with 6:35 remaining in the first quarter on a three-yard TD run by junior quarterback Stephen Gacioch (Tiverton, R.I.).
- PSU answered less than four minutes later when sophomore Brett Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass.) connected with senior David Hamilton (West Deptford, N.J.) on a 17-yard scoring strike to even the game.
- UMass Dartmouth took the lead for good on the final play of the opening quarter when Gacioch found junior Pedro DelToro (Chelsea, Mass.) from five yards out and the hosts extended the margin to 21-7 with 5:48 remaining in the second quarter when senior Jeremy Jackson (Middletown, R.I.) capped an 18-play, 84-yard drive by hauling in a three-yard strike from Gacioch.
- Lavanchy followed with a nine-play, 46-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown connection to sophomore Gavin Moody (Warner, N.H.) to slice the deficit to seven with 1:12 left in the half, but that would prove to be the final scoring play of the contest as the final 30 minutes settled into a defensive tussle.
- It looked as though the Panthers would even the game early in the fourth quarter when Shea's blocked punt gave PSU the ball at the UMD one-yard line. PSU was stuffed, though, as three-of-four rushes resulted in a one-yard loss and the Corsairs took over on downs.
- UMD was able to burn off the remaining 8:51 with a 15-play drive which featured three third down conversions, including a 20-yard pass play on third-and-11 to secure the win.
Inside the Numbers:
- Hamilton rushed 21 times for 51 yards, while senior Nick Lancia (Bedford, N.Y.) carried the ball ten times for 26 yards.
- Lavanchy finished 6-of-10 for 85 yards and a pair of TD throws, while junior Terrell Lewis (New Boston, N.H.) had a 38-yard reception.
- Shea finished with 15 tackles, including 11 solo, and added a pass breakup to his blocked kick.
- Gacioch threw for 305 yards (32-for-45) and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 104 yards and a score.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"It was a well-earned win by UMass Dartmouth," said head coach Paul Castonia. "They earned it with four stops from the one-yard line."
- Plymouth State returns home to face Fitchburg State in another MASCAC contest next Saturday (Oct. 5) during Homecoming and Family Weekend. PSU will recognize its NCAA Tournament participants from the 2018-19 year during halftime.
** With contributions from UMass Dartmouth Sports Information **
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